Loving Our Wives

Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it Eph. 5:25

My favorite scripture when it came to me and my wife had always been Ephesians 5:22-24:

“22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”

I especially loved the parts about the husband being the head of the wife and the exhortation to the wife to submit to her husband “in every thing”. Whenever an argument arose between me and my wife, I would bring up that scripture and I would insist that she submit to me in everything, just as the scriptures stated.

I would tell her, “If you do not submit to me, then you are not submitting to Christ.”

Little did I know that one day, God would show me just how much I needed to submit to my wife!

It is no secret that most conflicts in marriage do not occur because there is no “food on the table”; otherwise, Hollywood would top the list of most stable marriages. There is no lack of food there.

But, on the contrary, conflicts in marriage more often come about due to disagreement issues between the husband and wife. One or both parties find it impossible to concede to the other and the result is that they engage in an eternal state of agreeing to disagree. In many cases, this leads to divorce, with one – or both – parties claiming “irreconciliable differences”.

But the truth is that no difference between husband and wife is irreconciliable. The cold fact is that people are unable to take the spiritual path of denying self, taking up their cross and following Christ.

When you are far from the cross, arguments and disagreements are the order of the day in any marriage and, on my part, being a stranger to the death of the cross meant that I as the man always had to have the last word in the constant war of words that rose up between me and my wife.

One day, however, as I was studying the Word of God, I arrived at Ephesians 5:25, a scripture which I had always glossed over. This time, for the first time, I noticed the second part of that scripture:


I had never noticed that last part. At least, I had never stopped to think that I ought to love my wife as Christ loved His church. The idea appeared strangely new to me. So I decided to look up how Christ loved His church. And I found the answer right there. Christ loved His church by giving Himself for her.

Immediately, my justification mode kicked in. I began thinking of the many ways that I had given myself for my wife. I remembered the many good things I had done for her, especially when I had a good-paying job and I could provide for her. I recalled even how for a time, when we were both out of work, I had worked some of the lowliest jobs in order to provide for her.

But, on this particular day, the hand of the Lord was upon me, and I held off justifying myself, at least momentarily. I decided to study more.

I remembered Colossians had similar words, so I looked it up. I found it in Colossians 3:19:

“Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

There! That had to be it. I had always carried a hard and bitter heart towards my wife. I thought she was rebellious and argumentative, and I could not take it. Over the course of time I had developed a hard heart towards her.

For the first time, I saw the situation clearly. When the Lord showed me my heart, I realised that I did not love my wife, because I was bitter towards her. For the first time, I felt I had been running from something, and I stopped running and confronted it.

The hand of the Lord was upon me, and I felt I could make a go for it. I decided to work on the problem.

The first thing I did was, of course, was to stop justifying myself. I realized I did not love my wife, and that was it. The next step was to see how I could begin loving my wife in the new way that the Lord had shown me.

But I instantly realized this would be no easy undertaking. It was clear that if I was to begin loving my wife by “giving myself” to her, it meant I had to lower myself beneath her especially in the case of a disagreement. If a disagreement arose between us I had to allow her to win. The prospect was quite unnerving. But the Lord was there, speaking to me. There was no way I could ignore His voice. And so, by the grace of God, I began the long journey towards doing God’s will with regard to loving my wife.

Bending to my wife’s will is an ‘art’ that has taken me many years to perfect. Not that I am anywhere near perfect, of course. But the bitterness is gone. Now, many years later, however difficult the situation is and however hard we may disagree, the bitterness is no longer there. That is the Good News, as far as I am concerned.

I cherish with all my heart that valuable lesson… that of humbling myself to my wife by going down and letting her be the winner. That is how Christ gave Himself for His church.

[And now, for your listening pleasure…]

The Lesson of Absalom

25 But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.

26 And when he polled his head, (for it was at every year’s end that he polled it: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king’s weight. 2 Sam. 14:25-26

I probably ought to have labeled this post “The Danger of Celebrity Christianity”.

In my country, there is a man, a preacher of the gospel. He is tall, full-bodied and extremely handsome. He cuts his hair in a ‘Table Mountain’ style, which gives him an added macho look. He wears casual clothing. No suits, and no ties.

He has an appealing raspy drawl and, when he is on stage, his body motions and movements command the attention of everyone. The man is irresistible.

Many years ago, this man came to our town to preach in an open-air meeting, and all the women of the town, both saved and unsaved, flocked to see him. As he began preaching, his very posture had the women screaming and ululating wildly. The man loved it and we, too, in our simplicity, did. In our hearts, the man was an idol.

He went on to entertain us immensely. At the end of the 4 or 5-day meeting, the big open-air field could afford standing space only.

Sad to say, many of us came to learn later that this man was also one of the most notorious adulterers in the land. On this particular occasion, when he finally left our town, he left with one of the women he had ‘converted’ during his crusade.

The story of Absalom in the Old Testament is an analogy of our modern-day charismatic preachers. Absalom was a man of incredible handsomeness, and he used his deep charisma and beauty to his advantage in his attempt to dethrone King David, his father. The Bible says he “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” (2 Sam. 15:6).

In the same vein, today’s preachers use their charisma and material or physical attributes to dethrone God the Father from the hearts of men. They do so by drawing to themselves the attention of men.

The Bible further says that when Absalom set out on his diabolical mission, he conscripted to himself simple men who knew nothing of his intentions.

And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not any thing.” (2 Sam. 15:11)

In the same manner, men of spiritual simplicity hearken to the call of our modern-age celebrity preachers. They applaud and celebrate them. They call them “mighty men of God”.

Today, you hear all over the place, “Man of God! Man of God!”

You hear also men being referred to as “The man of the hour”; or, “The one and only So-and-so”.

All these inferences actually come from the world. It is the devil who brings them into the church.

And the men of God to whom this attention is directed keep silent because they love men’s approval.

When He was here on earth, our Lord Jesus Christ reacted strongly to such approbations when they were directed at Him. Jesus would not impute or allow any glory to be imputed to Him.

One time, someone called Jesus “good”, but Jesus would have none of it.

“16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God…” (Mat. 19:16-17)

Jesus could quietly have let it pass. But Jesus would only ascribe glory to God. He did not want any attention drawn to Himself.

On another occasion, Jesus responded in the same manner to a woman who tried to draw attention to the glories of His worldly birth.

“27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.” (Lk. 11:27-28)

Jesus used every opportunity to draw attention to and give glory to God the Father and to His will.

That is why the church needs to have the mindset of Christ again, as with the early church. In Philippians 2:5-8, God through the Apostle Paul appeals to us:

“5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…”

What was this mind?

“6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

Jesus humbled Himself, that He might become obedient to, and hence glorify God the Father.

We, too – preachers and laymen alike – need to humble ourselves in like manner to the end that God might be exalted. This requires the cross to work in our lives. The cross will break our pride and we shall become like Paul who, although he carried the greatest of all ministries, yet he could declare concerning himself, “… I be nothing” (2 Cor. 12:11).

[Let our lives be for nothing else but the exaltation of God]

Seeing Men Through God’s Eyes

Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Rom. 12:16

At my age I know a thing or two about the world we live in, and one of those things is that this particular scripture is one of the hardest things to achieve in this world. And here I do not need to go very far; all I have to do is to look at myself and I see how difficult it is to condescend to men of lower estate than I. It is one of the most testing tasks.

It is all right for the world to have such high-level attitudes as are described in this scripture because the world is not the paradise most people think it is; on the contrary, the Bible calls it “this present evil world” (Gal. 1:4). The world is an evil place and here men take it as a matter of course to condescend to men of high estate, but not to men of low estate.

Again, notice that man has nothing good but his “own conceits”. That talks of the pride in our hearts. Pride makes us to think we are better than others. It also makes us to differentiate between men.

But that state of affairs ought not to occur in church. The Bible in 1 Tim. 3:15 calls the church “the pillar and ground of the truth.”

And what, pray, is the truth?

The truth of God’s Word is stated in Luke 3:5-6:

“5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; 6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.”

The church is level. The Bible exhorts us to be “… of the same mind one toward another.” Here there are no ‘touchables’ and ‘untouchables’. There are no learned and unlearned. There are no rich and poor, no privileged and unprivileged. There are no white and black, yellow or brown men. The church is one single unit and each believer a member in that unit. The Bible actually puts it this way:

“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” Rom. 12:5

What exactly does it mean by “every one members one of another”?

That is a cryptic scripture. But all it means is that we are meant to serve one another. God has put us in church to serve the other members of His Body – not ourselves. The highest person in the Kingdom of God is the one who of his own will and with all his heart becomes a servant to others.

The classic example of how Jesus treated men is that of blind Bartimaeus. Mark narrates the account in this manner.

“46 And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimaeus, the son of Timaeus, sat by the highway side begging. 47 And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. 49 And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. 50 And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. 51 And Jesus answered and said unto him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. 52 And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.” Mk. 10:46-52

Now, notice that Bartimaeus was not only blind, he was also a beggar. This is highly intolerable with men. In any society, beggars are the lowest of the low in terms of humanity, and they are tolerated only for tolerance’s sake. At best, they are ignored.

It is no wonder, therefore, what happened with Bartimaeus. Men in their bloated minds had placed Jesus on a worldly pedestal. To them, He was ‘Jesus the Great’. So they commanded the blind beggar to shut up and mind his place. How dare he, a nothing, disturb the greatest man that the world had ever seen? What nerve this fellow had! What…!!

But Jesus had a different spirit. He had not come down to seek the greatness of this world. He came down to the world to be nothing. (And that was exactly the reason why, as Philippians 2:9 says, “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name”.)

Jesus heard Bartimaeus and, to the surprise of everyone, He stopped in His tracks and called for Bartimaeus to be brought to Him. In an instant, the castoff became the star. In their eyes, Bartimaeus was now an exalted man. And after he was healed, these same men rushed to take selfies with him. Men love worldly acclaim!

But God looks upon the heart. He considers the humble heart. The man who has died to self can do what Jesus did with ease, and please God.

This is the reason why, every time I look at scripture, I understand more and more why Paul wrote the Corinthians:

“And I, brethren, when I came to you… determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:1-2)

The cross is the ONLY solution to the flesh. Therein lies the power of God’s grace. Jesus had this power in Him and therefore He loved and esteemed men – from top to bottom. What a grace!

[Below: Downtown Singida: Through the simple things that they do in their daily lives each man sets out to be in a class of his own]


Seeking God’s Attention

1 Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.

2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:

4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Mat. 6:1-4

What a joy it is to do things in the presence of God! What an incredible grace to have a relationship with the living God! We have no idea what we are missing when we seek to be seen by men rather than God. To be seen by men: that is the most desolate place to be.

Actually, Jesus talked of a few other things that we should do in secret, so that only God, and not men, would see. My favorite is the one about fasting.

16 Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.” (Mat. 6:16-18)

“…when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face.”

Try and visualize that. There you are, fasting for one, two, three or even five days. And every day you wake up and wash your face, comb your hair and, if you are a woman, put on the best make-up possible – just to hide from men the fact that you are fasting!

I absolutely love that. Here you have someone who has a living relationship with God. He has no hypocrisy in his heart, and he does not seek for attention from men. Not that he despises men, no. On the contrary, he understands the ways of God.

Sometimes we are so carried away with what men think of us we forget that God is bigger than men – and that His ways are far removed from the ways of men.

Then there is the one about prayer:

“5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6 But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. 7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Mat. 6:5-7)

I have been in towns in our country where preachers wake up every morning to pray on big loudspeakers. The problem with such kinds of prayers is that, unless you are perfectly in the Spirit (which means you have been led by the Holy Spirit to do such a thing), you are more likely to pray to be heard by men rather than God. Yes, there is a place and a time for public prayer. But the way things are in our day, you would think the church is competing with the world!

But our Lord’s instructions are clear:

“… when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

But is it that God does not want us to be seen by men? Hardly. It is a small thing with God how we carry on on the outside. God looks upon the heart of man. What God is all about here is that He wants to pummel the flesh and to deny it that which it seeks most – self-glorification.

When you do anything to be seen or heard of by men, you are seeking to be glorified by men. But faith sees God and it looks up always, to the heavenly glory. A man of faith will absolutely despise the cheap glories that men would heap on him. He will seek the glory that can only be seen by faith. This is a man who understands that God does not do business with the flesh.

Our Lord Jesus was perfected in faith. Never once did He do something (“something” here talks of incredibly remarkable miracles) and seek to be seen by men. We read, for example, the story of Jesus and the blind man that He healed in Bethsaida. Below is the account.

“22 And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. 24 And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. 25 After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. 26 And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.” (Mk. 8:22-26)

The Swahili version of this scripture sheds more light on exactly what happened. Verse 26 reads: “He took him to his own house…” In other words, Jesus literally took the man by the hand and led him straight to his house.

Now, just try and imagine that. Jesus had something about Him which the flesh cannot understand nor comprehend: Jesus shunned human attention and, by extension, human glory.

But, today especially, men of God are used to the media. We are used to the public eye – men’s eyes. This is a big trap for the man who seeks to be spiritual. But the gospel of Jesus Christ does not come cheaply. On the contrary, it is the most demanding thing on earth. It demands total surrender, or death, to the flesh.

People have a saying, “East or west, home is best”. In the case of the true believer, east or west, north or south, he has no option: the cross is his home. He must bring his life to the cross. He must crucify the flesh. The flesh, the devil and the world are all in league against God. And they work together. As a corporate body, they are God’s enemy No. 1. We must put on the armor of righteousness and blast them off to Neverland.

Thank God that you are alive today. If you have not placed your life on the altar of sacrifice, this is your day. Do not bother with the flesh, nor what men think or do not think about you. Serve God in the Spirit and, the Bible says, God will reward you openly.

What does it mean that God will reward you openly, anyway? It means God will bless you, and men will see it. In the course of serving God in the Spirit, you are bound to be shamed, despised and treated as nothing. But God allows that for a time. One day, whether on this earth or in heaven, God will repay you, and men will see. Many, who had been waiting for you to sink, will be surprised to see you rejuvenated, exalted and blessed.

In Pentecostal churches today, there is much talk of being “uplifted” by God. Unfortunately, many want to be uplifted to the level of the world – to prosper materially, etc. But true uplifting can only be in the Spirit and it will only come if we humble ourselves and crucify the flesh. You can uplift yourself, but God will never be involved in the uplifting of the flesh.

Today is a day for us to choose. May we choose wisely. May we choose to crucify the flesh and serve God in the Spirit.

[Below: Today is a time to praise the Lord]



For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption Act 13:36

When David is mentioned, all heaven stands. That’s a fact. The praises of David in heaven are great and many. David is one of the greatest men we read of in the Bible. Why is he great? The Bible gives us the answer right here in this verse. It says that David served his own generation by the will of God”.

What exactly does that mean?

The Swahili version of that portion of scripture says:

“Because David, after he had served the will of God in his generation, slept, and was laid to rest with his fathers, and saw corruption.”

David served the will of God! The reason that David is such an important figure in heaven is because in his lifetime, he served God’s purpose here on earth. On earth we revere men for many reasons. But God lauds men on account of only one thing – that they have done or are doing His will here on earth. Notice also how many times David is mentioned in the New Testament. It is for no other reason other than he served God by doing what pleased God.

In 1 Kings 15:5 we read,

Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.”

If you put aside the unfortunate matter of Uriah’s wife, the Bible says that David did God’s will fully, and with all his heart.

Do you know how difficult it is for God to find someone who can do His whole will? It is extremely difficult. That is because man has a tendency to do his own will, not God’s. The man who can deny his own will and do God’s will is a truly rare gem. But this is the man who pleases God.

I can see God, in the days of Prophet Samuel, looking for a heart – a heart that trembled at His Word. God exalts Himself in the weak things. That is His nature. Before He ever sets out to do a task, the first thing that God does is to look for a humble heart. God looks for someone who does not exalt himself, for He can only work through such a person. And so, God looked all over Israel for someone with a humble heart. God looked and looked. Everyone was worshipping God all right; but God couldn’t find one person whose heart was humble enough to carry out His purpose.

But then God found David. David’s heart pleased the Lord. David probably did not even go to church, for he was busy tending his father’s flock. David probably did not do many things in the natural that are associated with religion. But in his heart he knew and worshipped God. He had a repentant heart. We can see that in Psalms 51.

And the minute God saw the heart of David, God knew He had found His man.

Many people think David was a great warrior. Yes, he was, but it was not in the natural. At no one time did David depend on his own strength in anything that he accomplished. In the natural, even his own brothers, who in all probability were not aware of his exploits with the lion and the bear, considered him a nobody (1 Sam. 17:28). He was so inconsequential that his father did not even think of him when presenting his sons to Samuel!

But God looks upon the heart, and He saw David had a humble heart. Even when he faced Goliath, we see that David did not depend on his own strength. He depended on God. These are the kinds of people that God is pleased with.

If we want to be used of God we must first examine our hearts. We must make sure there is no pride there. That is the very first step. God cannot deal with a man who has a haughty spirit. That also is God’s nature. In fact, since many impostors are popping up all over the church claiming to be men of God, I can show you right here how to tell a true man of God. A true man of God is humble to the core.

Did I say he is perfect? Hardly. But he is humble. And there are many things to tell you if he is humble. One of the greatest that I have found is that he is a man who easily merges with those that surround him. He does not consider himself more important than they. When you read about David in the Old Testament, you will find he had that quality. Our Lord Jesus also was so simple that you couldn’t tell Him apart from His disciples.

The quickest red flag to finding a person who is not a true servant of God today is a preacher who has bodyguards. A person who walks about with bodyguards is a person who has no idea what the gospel of Jesus Christ is about. If our Lord did not need bodyguards, why should a modern preacher require them?

But someone will say, “But David had his mighty men.”

The answer to that is that we are not living in the Old Testament. If we did so we would be required to go to war as David did. But we are living under the New Covenant. Notice that David “served his own generation by the will of God”. We must serve God in the Spirit of the New Covenant. The Spirit of the New Covenant is a Spirit of love, and of self-denial. Hence the need for the church today to understand the cross of Jesus Christ. It is only through the crucifixion of the old man, self, that we can walk in the perfectness of God, which is LOVE.

That is why Paul would tell the Corinthians,

“And I, brethren, when I came to you… determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2).

There are great men according to this world. But there are also great men according to God. We must choose the right path to true greatness.

[Below: A young Nyaturu boy in rural Singida]


The Unity Of The Godhead

I and my Father are one. Joh 10:30

God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ, God the Holy Spirit – these three form the Godhead, God. The Godhead is not something easy to explain. God is pre-existent. He existed before anything ever was. He is also the Creator of everything, matter and non-matter. Everything that is originated with God. Some things He simply spoke into being. Others He created. The Bible says in John 1:3:

“All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

That is how powerful and all-encompassing God is. God’s power is actually indescribable. Howbeit, there are many ways to physically gauge the power of God. One of the best (for me) is to look up into the sky on a star-lit night. You will see there things that will surely have you thinking hard. You might also need to read a few articles or, even much better, watch a few documentaries about space. Scientists tell us there are billions upon billions of stars out there. You might want to learn about inter-planetary or even interstellar travel, where distances are measured in something called “light years”. You will be astounded beyond belief at what scientists are uncovering  about the power that was involved in the activity and creation of the universe.

But even with all these discoveries, astronomers are still stuck in the vast abstractness of what they call the ‘known universe’! In other words, there is something beyond this ‘known universe’, and they have barely began to scratch at the proverbial tip of the iceberg! But already they have been rendered breathless by the awesome power and wonder in the humble discoveries that they have made.

Unbeknown to man, though, all these jaw-dropping ‘discoveries’ are just a stroll in the garden for God. He it is He who created them all. And He is so familiar with the territory that He knows the number of stars in the universe and He calls each star by its name! (Ps. 147:4). (Which suggests the universe might be finite, after all, although with God ‘finiteness’ might be a trillion trillion trillion light years beyond the curve of the unknown universe!)

There are simply no human words to describe God, or His power. He is indescribably powerful, glorious and majestic. And here we are looking at just the physical dimension of God’s power. We have not even come close to touching on the spiritual aspect of the Godhead, which is the heart of who God is. The Bible states that God is Spirit. In this regard, the physical aspect of God is a distraction, at best.

In the Spirit, God is THE GREAT GOD. Even God’s great nation, the Jews, lacked the strength to mouth God’s name, so they wrote it in un-pronouncable format: YWHW. When men gathered enough courage to pronounce that Name, they pronounced it ‘YAHWEH’.

But we do not have space in this post to attempt to look at God’s spiritual attributes. We will save that for another day. But let us move on…

There is something else concerning the Godhead which is also not easy to understand. This is the fact that each one of the Godhead is individually existent. In fact, they have separate Names. God the Father is called YAHWEH; God the Son is called Jesus Christ; and there is God the Holy Spirit.

By being individually existent, it means that each one of the Godhead is capable of or has a will of His own. Which further means that each one is capable of thinking on His own accord and making decisions of His own.

And yet – they are one. Jesus told the Jews: “I and my Father are one.”

Why would Jesus feel the need to say these words? It was because it was obvious that He and God the Father were two individual entities, but Jesus looked and did everything exactly like God the Father. If one saw Jesus, he had in effect seen God the Father – in poise, in character, in operation – in everything!

And this point right here is the heart of this post. Right here is where we get the most astounding revelation concerning the Godhead, which is the fact that each one of these powerful individuals that form the Godhead was able to put aside His will and humble themselves to become ONE. They merged their wills. Indeed, the most incredible thing about the Godhead is God’s humility. Considering their exalted position, it would have been very difficult for God the Father or God the Son or God the Holy Spirit to humble themselves. Each one of them could have said, “I am God”.

But the Godhead did that which is simply impossible with man. They humbled themselves and became one.

This is a most astounding fact. It is especially so with God the Father, considering who He truly is. How He could lower Himself to become one with His Son Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit, is unbelievable.

But, of course, God went on from there and humbled Himself to unimaginable levels for our sake. Which is a different story all together.

Human nature is as far from God’s nature as the earth is from the heavens. Man only seeks to be elevated. It is impossible to find a man who can put aside their will for the sake of uniting himself fully with another. It is only until a man understands the cross of Jesus Christ and submits his life to it that he can do this.

But this kind of Godly humility and unity is exactly the very challenge that scripture calls us to. In Philippians 2:3-4 the Apostle Paul writes:

“3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.”

The contrast between the Godhead and human nature is so amazing. One – God – is indescribably elevated in glory, power and majesty, and yet so humble. The other, man, is lowly nothingness, and yet he is so full of human pride. “I” becomes god to him.

It amazes me that the church as we know it is full of people of every category and position: apostles, prophets, bishops, popes, and every kind of exalted position… Add to this our fine denominations, churches, ministries and fellowships which we love to pride ourselves in. But to find a truly humble man, that is a different matter all together. Man has become bigger than God Himself! Surely, we have a big problem in our hearts! And we all know that pride was the very problem that Satan had: he wanted to put himself above God (Is. 14:13-14). We are therefore the children of our father, the devil, when we fail to attain to God’s level of humility. And do not be deceived by the liberal theologies of how once we have been born again, we will go to heaven no matter what. You can be saved and still go to hell. Especially if you have pride in your heart.

That is why I love the gospel that the Apostle Paul preached, “… Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” (1 Cor. 2:2)

Why? Again the Apostle answers for us:

“For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Cor.1:18)

Notice, “the preaching of the cross… is the power of God.”

What a powerful revelation! For us to have the character of Christ in us, we must go through the baptism of the cross.

It was for this very reason that Paul loved the cross of Christ with all his heart (2 Cor. 12:10-11). He knew what it could accomplish in him. It made him to die to self and to give his life for others.

I may not have attained to it but I, too, like Paul, love the cross of Jesus Christ with all my heart. I want to humble myself and be able to unite my heart with true men and women of God, the church of Jesus Christ.

[The world is all about self, “I”, but you can hardly notice it with all the apparent calm around us]


Are We A Deaf Church?

15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Mat. 7:15-23
Notice Jesus warned us to “Beware of false prophets”. This means, simply, that we have been forewarned. When you have been warned of something, that means that you have a responsibility to heed that warning – unless, of course, you are deaf, and you did not therefore hear the warning in the first place.
But you would be shocked to learn today that a large proportion of the church is dead deaf. That is the only conclusion one can come up with when we see how God’s people are rushing headlong into the arms of “false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves”.
Jesus said we would know His servants by their fruits, not by the supernatural works they would be performing. But today, few heed this warning.
Today, in Africa, there is something called “power”. Across churches on every Sunday, you hear, “Power!!” People are mesmerized by the powerful works that are being performed in these churches. And many of the men who perform these works are bigger than Jesus Himself. But I believe it is more important to heed Jesus’ warning to “beware” than to go after these things, however important they are.
In any case, there are many of these marvellous works that are not from God, but from the devil. The Bible says the devil is capable of transforming himself into an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14).
I recently heard of a powerful Jewish rabbi in New York who was facing criminal charges in court for secretly videotaping women who underwent a certain Jewish ritual which requires them to strip naked and submerge themselves into a pool of water, while being observed by an all-male group of rabbis. (What a sad lot, the people who are under these laws and men!)
This man also engaged in extra-marital sex with many of the women that were under his control.
This was a man who had absolute sway over thousands, probably millions of people. And it is on record that he was a religious bully who possessed a cold heart. But people simply were not able to read that. And yet… Jesus had long forewarned them.
I wonder why it is so difficult for believers to understand that true power resides in a humble, broken spirit.
Today, many, many men of God who perform powerful supernatural works in the Spirit are engaging in all kinds of sins, and against the very people they are supposed to be leading to heaven. They are proud, arrogant and contemptuous of God’s people; they fleece people’s bank accounts, they are committing adultery… and all this is happening in church. That is why Jesus said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits”, because they would be doing these things in church.
What many believers fail to realize is that God uses such men simply because everything is God’s servant. God can use anything to bring about His purpose. There are no limits to what God can use. He uses both the good and the bad. He even uses the devil to do His will.
But that does not mean that every one of the things that God uses are going to heaven. The donkey that God used to warn Balaam is not going to have a front seat in heaven just because God used him; he will not even be there. The “messenger of Satan” that God used to buffet Paul (2 Cor. 12:7), you will not find in heaven. Nor, alas! many of the people who have led others to Christ. And “many”, Jesus said, of the ministers of God who have performed mighty works in the Spirit, will be turned away. Not every minister will go to heaven.
But everything is God’s servant, and God uses anyone and anything to fulfill His purposes.
But worldly-minded men are using God’s supernatural gifts to draw God’s people after themselves. And considering the fact that God’s people are hard of hearing, they are rushing into these men’s churches like the Niagara.
But then, again, you can fool the whole world, but you cannot fool God. Jesus said that when that day of reckoning comes, He Himself will tell many of the people who did His powerful works, “I never knew you: depart from me…”
How can it be that men who have:
1. “… prophesied in thy name?” (How many are prophesying in the Name of Jesus today?)
2. “… and in thy name have cast out devils?”
3. “… and in thy name done many wonderful works…”
how can it be that Jesus will tell such people, “I never knew you: depart from me”?
It is because these men and women failed to take up their cross and follow Christ. Sadly, these people never got the revelation of the cross in their lives, and they therefore failed to identify their lives with Christ’s in His suffering and death. They never allowed God to go deep down into their hearts and do a circumcision there. On the contrary, they allowed sin and the flesh to rule their lives.
The cross is the only place where sin can be defeated. Sin is not scared of miracles. You can perform all the miracles in the world; or, alternatively, you can have all the miracles performed on you; but that won’t change you in the least. It will not remove sin in your life. What will change you is a work of the cross in your life.
That is why I love the cross. The cross cuts across the entire spectrum of humankind. The cross does not care who you are. It does not tremble in the presence of “mighty men of God”, or any man. The cross seeks out the flesh in a man and crucifies it.
If Jesus underwent the cross, if Paul and the other apostles took up their cross and followed Christ, how much more we?
In any case, the church should wake up and stop being so gullible. The treasure is not the miracles, or the prophecies, or the healings … these may be important, but the true treasure is the life of Christ in us. And only the crucifixion of the flesh can bring that about.
Moreover, we have been forewarned, by Jesus Himself, to know what is important in our lives, and to not be drawn by the flattery of men.

[Below: Travelers wait to board the newly-inaugurated ferry at the new Musoma pier]


God Looks Upon The Heart!

1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.

2 Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin.

3 For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Ps. 51:1-3

David is undoubtedly one of the most rotten sinners in the Bible. He lusted after his neighbor’s wife, had the man, Uriah, killed, and took the woman to be his wife.

But God wouldn’t allow such folly from one of His most trusted servants to go unpunished. David would reap heavily as a result of this sin. His family would be torn apart, and he would lose many things in the natural.

But it is the heart that David maintained after he had sinned that we are to be most concerned with. Notice, in the scripture above, that David acknowledged his sin.

Now, people read this kind of scripture and they think it was a stroll in the garden for David. Such would be the case had David not been doing it from the heart. Many believers do that all the time. But with David it was done from the heart, and it cost him dearly.

You would be surprised to learn how difficult it is for believers to actually confess or acknowledge their sins. If it is going to come from the heart, then it’s gonna cost. It’s gonna hurt! Unfortunately, it is not in our human system to want to pay the price attached to this kind of acknowledgement, the heart confession. Unless Christ has done a work in our hearts, we will only concede a little bit of lip service, a casual “I am sorry”; or we will simply ignore the situation and go about “building God’s Kingdom” as if nothing had happened.

One time I had an argument with a brother from my church, and I became charged. I told him, “The problem with your tribe is that you are mule-headed!”

The minute I said that, I become conscious of the fact that I had crossed an invisible red line in the spirit. You could feel it because the atmosphere changed immediately I said those words. Deep in my heart I realized, instantly, that I was in deep trouble.

But I also knew, right there and then, what I needed to do. I needed to confess and repent of my sin.

You would think that I began dancing with joy at this clear revelation of what I needed to do in order to get right with this brother and with God. But you would also be surprised to learn how, once we are seated on our high horse of self-righteousness, it is the most difficult thing to climb down. We would rather walk from the North Pole all the way to the South Pole and back and probably even accept to die along the way, than admit that we are in the wrong!

But I thank God for His grace. In my heart I knew exactly what I needed to do, and the Lord gave me the readiness to do it. I waited till I was ready to escort the brother out and then I told him, “Brother, I want you to forgive me. I ought not to have said those words to you.”

The brother put his hand on my arm and said, “No, brother, what you said is the truth, everyone knows it.”

“No”, I replied. “Probably that’s the way men see it, but it is not the way God sees you. In any case, I have sinned before you and before God and I really need you to forgive me.”

Sometimes you need to go down before you can go up! We made amends with my brother and from that day, God set me free from the bigotry that I had in my heart towards that particular tribe. I became completely free in this area!

Henceforth, God has tested and reminded me to humble myself and accept these brothers even as Christ has accepted them.

The revelation of the cross in our hearts does wonders in the Spirit… one of the things it does is to bring true relationships between us and our brethren, and between us and God.

Of Stars and the Resurrection Glory

41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 1 Cor. 15:41-44

The subject of stars intrigues me exceedingly, and I keep coming back to this topic.

When you look up into the sky at night you will notice that all stars are not the same. Some shine brighter than others. There are some, even, which incessantly reflect off different colors, like a diamond turning in the light.

In the Bible, the stars speak of the sons of God. And the Bible says that at the resurrection of the dead, we will differ in our glory.

What determines how believers will shine in heaven is the subject of this portion of scripture. The keyword here is “sown”. It matters very much how we “sow” our lives in this world. This is what will determine how brightly we shine in God’s heavenly Kingdom.

It is natural for us in our human state to desire glory, honor, respect and admiration and everything this world can offer. These are things that we desire if we are not transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. But here the Bible tells us exactly what to seek for if we are to share in the resurrection of the dead in a powerful way – no glory, no honor, no admiration, no profit, no nothing, in this world.

On the contrary, we are to seek to lose.

Apart from the pain that He endured at His crucifixion, and the humiliation that He physically and verbally endured from men when He was here on earth, yet I daresay that the very thought of Him becoming man was probably the biggest affront to Jesus’s nature as a holy God. For this would require Him to put on the body of sinful flesh!

But Jesus humbled Himself and put on that body. And He came and He lived with and in that body of sin in this world of sin for 33 years, and He did not commit a single sin. The Bible says He was tried in every area of His life. Every area! Each part of His flesh was touched by temptation.

Y’know, I write this blog and a dear friend once commented to me that my face looks like the face of Jesus! True to my stupid nature, instead of crying I laughed! Probably the only saving grace is that I laughed out of bitterness.

I probably am more handsome than Jesus was in the flesh. But I am also assured that in the list of things that matter with God, a sweet face is not there. And my friend certainly had no way of knowing some things about me.

My friend had no way of knowing that one of the things that astounds me beyond belief is the depth of the pride in my heart. Not someone else’s, no, but mine. Scientists have declared that the universe is infinite, which means that only God can know the ends of it. In the same way, I also have come to the conclusion that the heart of man is unfathomable. Only God can plumb its depths.

That is why our Lord Jesus deserves so much glory, admiration and honor. Would you believe that the Lord Jesus did not have an iota of pride in Him? Nothing of it in what He thought, did or spoke. In His fathomless heart, Jesus had not an iota of pride or any kind of sin. Think about that.

There is no word sufficient to describe that state of affairs, or that kind of heart. The word “incredible” is a miserable understatement here. Jesus did what no man can even think of attaining to – and all while having on the very same body of sin that we have. And because He wrought this great victory on our behalf we, too, ought to walk in that same victory over sin as He did.

That is why we need to pray for a clearer and clearer revelation of the cross, so that we may learn to lose our lives more and more through the trying of our faith, for the express purpose of attaining to the hope of shining like one of the brightest stars in the heavens at the resurrection.

[Below: Some neighborly friends]

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Resurrection, stars, pride, Jesus, glory, humility

To Glory in the Crucified Life

But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Gal 6:14

I am sure that the Apostle Paul could have preached the gospel all the way from the Arctic to Antarctica ten times over, and on foot, until his feet bled blood – and still that would have meant nothing to him. There would have been nothing for him to glory in there.

Did you ever notice that God spoke audibly of Jesus, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mat. 3:17) before Jesus had began His earthly ministry?

And the Bible does not say that Jesus was glorified before the Father because of all the marvellous works that He did here on earth, but rather because He “endured the cross” (Heb. 12:2).

Paul’s not glorying in his ministry achievements was not false humility on his part. Paul would not glory in them simply because it was a fact that he had nothing to glory in them.

What a revelation! Paul was looking to another glory, the glory of Christ’s cross working in him and producing the character of Christ in him, which thing alone would please God. Paul realized that as far as God is concerned, a personal transformation comprises true glory.

It might be true that God is concerned with what we do for Him; but there is no doubt about the fact that God’s real concern is in what we allow Him to do in our lives to transform us into the image of His Son Jesus Christ.

The church needs to get serious with God. Today there is an emphasis on outside showing, and on works. But during the Early Church you would not have heard of “Paul of Tarsus Ministries”, or “John and James Zebedee Ministries”. The apostles were not concerned with any such outside stuff. Far from even naming a ‘ministry’ after himself, Paul would not even dwell on what he had done. Instead, he emphasized on Christ’s work in him.

This astounding revelation desperately needs to come into our hearts today. There is an incredible work that needs to be done deep within our hearts. If we are to be truly co-joined with Christ, then we need to undergo the same work of death and resurrection that Christ underwent.

Many Christians boast in the things they can accomplish for God. But they will not allow God to touch their lives. They are proud, self-centered individuals, and there is no humility in their lives to allow God to transform them. As a result, every work of the flesh is evident in church today.

It requires humility to acknowledge that a work needs to happen in our hearts. It requires even greater humility to allow that work to take place. The most important thing that we can do in our calling as born-again believers is to allow the cross to bring the sufferings and death of Christ that will transform our lives into the image of Christ.

That is faith. When we are not able to see the work of transformation that needs to happen in our hearts, it is really not faith that we have, even if we are raising the dead. The faith that we can truly boast in is the faith that allows God to change us, change us on the inside. True faith is born of humility.

In other words, God is more pleased with a humble heart than today’s “mighty man of God” syndrome. I know of great preachers who cannot forgive. You can be a mighty man in men’s eyes, but be very small in God’s sight. Pride is a byword in today’s ministry fold. And these same sins are to be found in the lives of millions of Christians today.

That is why we need be on the right foundation, the foundation of Christ, and Him crucified. This is the foundation that will break us as men and bring us to bear the image of Christ, the only thing with which God is pleased.

[Below: Whenever I am at home in Dar es Salaam, this rooster wakes me up every morning]

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